blp shabash 430x45

  • Scarlet Robin complex (Image ID 20270)

    Scarlet Robin complex.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

  • Magpie Goose (Image ID 34735)

    Magpie Goose.   Photographer: Linda Unwin

  • Curlew Sandpiper (Image ID 39042)

    Curlew Sandpiper.   Photographer: Bruce McNaughton

  • Greater Crested Tern (Image ID 29864)

    Greater Crested Tern.   Photographer: Richard Smart

  • Australian Ringneck (Image ID 39164)

    Australian Ringneck.   Photographer: Diana Womersley

They say that photographing odd numbers is more visually appealing than even pairs.  However, this is not always the case, and here it is evident that we have many appealing images.  I think there are a number of ways to achieve this.  Showing some interaction between the two is one way.  On the other hand, showing a clear disconnect can work.  Another way is using juxtaposition, where the subjects are placed close together with a contrasting effect.

For me, there were five images that stood out from the pack, so identifying those worthy of an award was easy.  However, ranking them in order was far more difficult.  Here are my final choices.

Winner:  Leaden Flycatcher, by Mary Wheeler  (Image ID 36849)

What an intriguing image!  Talk about being out on a limb.  How do they maintain their balance with so much going on?  The positioning of the birds works very well.  What is going on between these two?  Are they having a domestic or just a vigorous conversation.  Or do their open beaks indicate something else?  The image quality is outstanding.  The birds and the branch are all very sharp with great detail.  The lighting is very effective.  The soft muted and out-of-focus background is perfect.  Congratulations on an outstanding achievement.

Leaden Flycatcher

Highly Commended:  Galah, by Lorraine Gordon  (Image ID 36961)

A worthy runner up.  What on earth did she say to him?  It certainly seems to hit its mark by the way he is reeling back as if to get as far back as he can.  Their expressions are priceless.  Domestic bliss? I don’t think so.  Love birds they are not.  The image quality is excellent.  The mottled stump on which they are perched adds an extra element.  I think a slight cropping to eliminate the white smudge on the left edge and to bring the birds even closer to us would make an even stronger image.

Galah

Commended: Zebra Finch, by Mary Wheeler  (Image ID 36823)

Smooching birds.  How good is that?  I love it.  Captured at the decisive moment.  The strong colours of the beaks bring our attention immediately to where is should be.  The closed eyes work well and adds to the story.  The feather detail is excellent.  The background is well out of focus. However, some of the bright highlights, particularly the diagonal branch, are a little distracting.

Zebra Finch

Commended: Welcome Swallow, by Jacob Dedman  (Image ID 37075)

This is a good effort to come up with something different.  The use of a shallow depth of field is different and effective.  The birds are not in competition with each other, which is often the danger in photographing pairs.  The lead bird is very sharp with excellent detail.  I like the way the second bird is angled across the first.  The fact that the second bird is out of focus provides an interesting juxtaposition.  The rail on which the birds are perched provides an effective lead in.

Welcome Swallow

Commended: Galah, by Helen Leonard (Image ID 36919)

Whilst not quite as strong as the other Galah image, it is very cute and has a lot of appeal.  It captures a very tender moment with one Galah nestling into the other.  Apart from the fact there are no highlights in the eyes, technically the image is very strong.  We can’t always have everything, I guess.  Nevertheless, a very appealing image.

Galah

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